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Upon considering New England Christmas' I came across many traditions. Of course there is the trip to the tree farm where you can pick your tree, have an attendant take it on a sled to the shaker and then load it to your car. In some cases you can even have your photos taken professionally at the tree farm. Then there are the hundreds of light shows that are up and ready to be viewed in my area of Massachusetts. Or there is the tradition of seeing The Nutcracker-and visiting a mall santa. I just didn't want that this year, the mall santa I mean. I chose to review the best place in my area- Old Sturbridge Village.
Christmas by Candlelight at Old Sturbridge Village literally spoke to my being, and it was something that i wanted to have my children experience. Now that we have, I will never be taking them anywhere else to see Santa but there. Every other Santa is a pallid comparison to a warm and inviting hug, an inviting smile, victorian red velvet clothing, and vest complete with a real beard. He knew the kids names, and even pointed them to the North Pole. Besides this, while waiting in the long, long line you were able to read my favorite book at this time of year A Visit from St. Nicholas by Clement Clarke Moore.
Christmas By Candlelight is a true new england experience
If you want to visit this wonderful event, then you have to make sure to mark it on your calendar next December. It's an annual event, that ran this year every weekend in December from 3:00pm until 8:00pm. Families can enjoy the North Pole area where you can talk with Tinsel the Talking Christmas tree, take in a miniature Christmas Village, visit with Santa and even sneak by the Elve's bunk as they take a rest before the busy night ahead.
Each house around the green was light by candlelight. The 19th century truly came alive, and the hearth fires were stoked in the homes around the warm communal bonfire. My children loved sitting in front of the bonfire, waiting to take a wagon ride around the town and sing carols while jingling through the snow.
Meet Father Christmas and visit Bob CRATCHIT'S home.
Visitors enter into Bob Cratchit's home and were greeted by the ghost of Christmas present who continued to greet us as well. He sat near a feast, much like the book, and movie renditions. He asked us to enter "Come in and know me better man!" My children who know A Christmas Carol, decided to ask him where his brothers were. This Father Christmas knew his stuff! The kids loved it. They talked enthralled, listened intently and were ready to visit the kitchen for a sample of 19th century gingerbread. We wanted more!
After Bob's house we visited Scrooge and Marley's home, set up as a counting house with two mannequins showing visitors how it would have been set up. We headed right over to the meetinghouse, to listen to a brass playing traditional music.
After the caroling, ornament making, mulled cider, and more caroling we were ready to go home with a feeling that we celebrated Christmas by making merry. It's what it should be! I learned something that I as a historian did not know! Mulled means to hea with a hot iron not the spices. Hmmm...
Punch and Judy helped as well, over 90 year old puppets beat each other in this traditional tale that all the children loved.
There is still time to visit. December 21-23 is the last weekend! We are definitely going to check out more OSV programs. If you want more information visit their website.
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